The Bombay High Court on Wednesday expressed its disappointment at the Maharashtra government refusing to relax restrictions on people who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, from travelling on local trains or using other public facilities [Feroze Mithiborwala v. State of Maharashtra & Ors. and connected matters].A Bench of Chief Justice (CJ) Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik expressed anguish that despite stern observations against the circulars, the State had proceeded to issue a new circular similar to the ones under challenge before the Court in a public interest litigation."We must express this that we committed a mistake in restricting the scope of this PIL only to the three SOPs under challenge. We should have gone ahead and set aside the entire January 22 notification. But you don't respect the court's sentiments. We will remember this. This is a lesson the court has learnt from the State government in this case" CJ Datta remarked..The Bench was dismayed that instead of respecting their observations, State government insisted on sticking to its earlier stand that only fully vaccinated people ought to be allowed to use public transportation even though every other activity was being permitted. "Having regard to the gross violations due to the imposing of restrictions since August 2021, it would have been better for us to strike down the subsequent orders issued by the State taking suo motu cognisance. However, we had expressed hope and trust that the State would impose reasonable restrictions and not breach the citizens' fundamental rights under Article 21. We were mistaken," the Bench commented..The Bench was hearing the petitions against the Maharashtra government's policy of not allowing unvaccinated people to travel on local trains or use other facilities.In December last year, the High Court had asked the State to explain their rationale behind discriminating between persons who are vaccinated against COVID-19 and those who are not when it comes to access to public spaces. An affidavit was filed by the Chief Secretary Debashish Chakrabarty, reasoning that allowing non-vaccinated persons to mix with vaccinated will endanger the lives of everyone. The High Court had then sought records of proceedings or meetings that led to State's decision resulting in the policy that was under challenge in the public interest litigation petition.When the State responded in the negative, the Bench called for the original files to find out the what transpired leading to the circulars under challenge. Once the files were produced and examined, the Bench opined that the circulars seemed to have been passed in violation of law, and asked the State government whether it was willing to withdraw the said circulars. On Wednesday the Court was informed of the new order issued by the State government based on the SEC meeting held of February 25, 2022..In light of this development, the Bench proceeded to dispose of the pending public interest litigation petitions with a clear direction that if the petitioners are aggrieved by the new order of March 1, 2022, they can file a fresh petition challenging the same..Advocates Nilesh Ojha, Tanveer Nizam and Abhishek Mishra appeared for the petitioners.Senior Counsel Anil Anturkar appeared for the State along with Government Pleader PP Kakade.Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh with advocates Aditya Thakkar and DP Singh appeared for the Union of India.